East Coast Winter Storm Looking More Likely

So we have another Arctic air mass that is going to push southward into the central and eastern United States, and with that cold, there could be an East Coast storm. Even though I was a little off on the timing, this is the potential mid-March storm that I started talking about earlier this month. If you’re like me, I wish that this would be the one forecast that I’m actually wrong on because I’m ready for spring to get here and stay. We have gotten a taste of spring already, but winter just doesn’t want to go away. It’s been a fun winter, but I’m ready to forecast for something different. Unfortunately it’s looking like April is going to bring much of the same thing, but temperatures should be better. Naturally, we just start to warm up this time of year.

I want to keep tonight’s article very brief, but I want to bring to your attention a potential East Coast winter storm next week. Given the impressive Arctic air mass that will be moving over the central and eastern U.S., it’s actually possible that this storm could be impressive, especially for this time of year. Right now, it’s hard to determine who will get frozen precipitation and who won’t. The reason that this gets difficult to forecast precipitation types this time of year is because you have a more direct sun angle, and everything just naturally starts to warm up. I’m impressed by the amount of cold air that the forecast models are picking up on for next week, so nothing would surprise me at this point. This winter (well actually it’ll be spring tomorrow) has been nothing short of impressive, and it continues to not let up!

I want to point out that the track of this system will be very important. The latest European model has snow all the way down to parts of the Carolinas and up portions of the East Coast. The deterministic GFS model also has a similar scenario with snow impressively far south. Several members of the GFS ensemble also call for an East Coast storm, and other models show similar scenarios. This is pretty good agreement to say the least and shouldn’t be ignored.

Another thing that I want to point out is the very warm waters that are currently off the East Coast. If this storm does develop, I wouldn’t be surprised if it rapidly strengthened or bombed out off the East Coast. Waters in the Gulf of Mexico are very warm also, which would also enhance the development of a system like this.

When you get this type of pattern setting up along with warmer waters off the East Coast and in the Gulf, you can get an impressive system. It’s very late in the season and a lot of things need to come together, but I think the chances are good. As we get closer to this event, I’ll get into more of the specifics as things become more certain. Please continue to follow me on Facebook where I’ll do continuous coverage daily.

European model snowfall totals

The latest European model shows accumulating snowfall all the way into the Carolinas. Ignore snowfall totals for now. Forecast model courtesy of WeatherBell.

Sea Surface Temperatures

This map shows you how warm the sea surface temperatures are off the East Coast.